Felix Mantz

Thesis title:

Decolonising Land Governance – Coloniality and Indigenous Knowledges in Tanzania


Addressing the global ecological crises is one of the most pressing issue in the world today. Dominant approaches to address these have failed and not only overlook, but also reinforce colonial systems of oppression and subjugation. A key question that emerges is how to relate to the more-than-human while working against coloniality and towards decolonial horizons. This thesis therefore seeks to investigate the relationship between coloniality and ecological crises. It does so based on an examination of conflicting land relations, governance, and tenure in northern Tanzania. I ask: How are conflicting land relations experienced on the ground and what does this tell us about imposed land agendas and their colonial dimensions? What is the relationship between indigenous knowledges, non-dominant land tenure systems, and decoloniality?

To answer these questions, this research is grounded in three case studies: i.) Farmers’ mobilisation and land titling in the Kilimanjaro region; ii) Pastoralism and land relations in Arusha; and iii) the “Vihamba” agro-forestry system and Indigenous Knowledge on Mt. Kilimanjaro. While this thesis centers the “de/coloniality of nature” as a theoretical framework to analyse these cases, it uses an transdisciplinary approach drawing on radical political ecology, de/anti-colonial theories, indigenous scholarship, anarchist theories, as well as eco- and Global South feminisms. I use multiple methods, including interviews, archival research, and fieldwork.

This thesis will contribute to debates on decolonial theory, political ecology, and world politics with and explicit political commitment to anti-colonial liberation, and socio-ecologically balanced futures.

Social media:

Twitter – @FelixMantz
Research Gate – https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Felix_Mantz


J. Ann Tickner Prize for Best Master’s Dissertation in International Relations (Queen Mary University of London – 2019)

Draper’s Company Prize for Outstanding Achievement in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (Queen Mary University of London – 2019)

First supervisor:

Clive Gabay


10 – International Development, Conflict & Human Security




(2019) “The Global Mobile Labour Force in the Modern/Colonial World-System: Analysing Migrant Integration in Germany,” Journal of International Relations and Development. doi.org/10.1057/s41268-019-00181-9

(2019) “Decolonizing the IPE syllabus: Eurocentrism and the coloniality of knowledge in International Political Economy” (2019), Review of International Political Economy, DOI: 10.1080/09692290.2019.1647870